Brisbane City Council plans IT offshoring



blog All the cool kids are conducting IT outsourcing initiatives this year. Boral’s doing it, Woolworths is doing it; it’s basically par for the course if you’re a major corporation or government department. But that hasn’t stopped one of the Brisbane City Council’s main unions from jumping up and down over Brisbane City Council’s plans to shift up to 50 IT roles offshore. The Sydney Morning Herald reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“Furious staff unions have lodged a formal objection with Brisbane City Council over its handling of plans to outsource 50 information technology jobs overseas.”

Frankly, we’re a little surprised with the council’s plans, considering it’s right in the middle of a huge $353 million overhaul of its business administration platform. We would have thought good governance would have suggested that it might not be the best time to offshore IT jobs when you’re in the middle of a huge IT systems overhaul. But what do we know? After all, Queensland government departments have shown how capable they are of pulling off major IT projects in the past, especially those involving SAP. Well, not really. Oh, well. Let’s just hope and pray on this one, shall we?


  1. While I don’t condone what BCCC wants to do, if it’s a fait accompli then those staff don’t *have* to train their OS replacements – after all, they’re going to be out of a job anyway, why train their “replacements” ??

    • Usually there is a pretty good financial incentive for outsourced employees who stick around to train new employees.

  2. Hopefully they’ll off-shore server management and some of the help desk. BCC would have to have the most user-hostile IT people I’ve ever encountered. We had endless problems with a printer and we were told it was our fault for moving it (lucky we did, otherwise it would have been underwater). After screwing around for a week it was found that someone had mucked up the IP address the server queue was pointing too. As soon as it was pointing to the printer (and renamed since we’d moved it, which then got renamed again when the depot was repaired) everything started working.

    The IT people didn’t think that printing out SES job sheets to manage flood evacuations by boat, and the subsequent cleanup was a critical function. We ended up bodging things with print to PDF, sneaker-net by USB stick to a private laptop connected to the USB port. IT wouldn’t allow the BCC laptop to connect directly to the printer and we didn’t have the rights to install the driver.

    The sooner they are on the street the better. There’s still plenty of flood cleanup to do.

  3. Absolutely, I totally agreed with Delta Fox. There are a few lay-back public servants including IT (aka IM&T/ IMT&C) staff ranging from Local to State and Federal Levels. Talking about the administrative rights it is OK to restrict it to the Non-IT staff but in return we are expecting the IT Help Desk to rectify any issue as quickly as possible so we can continue with our day-day-tasks.

    Most of the times you would find that we’re being ignored by them because we’re simply “not a computer literate”. Angrily, their managers are the ones to be blamed because it seems they don’t have a bench-mark in place to satisfy their in-service staff. They might not have the appropriate policy in their IT Department or may be it’s about time they need to review it before they fly out with their outdated policy.

    The bottom line is if I am a CEO I would replace the CIO at the starting point. If there were no improvements after 6 months then focus on the the senior and middle level Managers. These initiatives will make them work off their butts.

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